How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome | Nurturing Success as a Business Owner

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome | Nurturing Success as a Business Owner

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, the success of your business depends on you, which is why so many of us experience a high level of stress. A constant state of stress can lead to negative thought patterns about ourselves and cause us to doubt our abilities, leading to imposter syndrome. In fact, a study by Kajabi showed that 84% of business professionals and entrepreneurs have experienced imposter syndrome! With that kind of prominence in the business community, it becomes easy to see why it’s important that we learn how to overcome imposter syndrome, and put our focus instead on nurturing our success as business owners.

What are the symptoms of imposter syndrome?

While we all experience moments of self-doubt, the symptoms of imposter syndrome come up with greater regularity in our lives. To get past it, you first need to be aware of it when it happens. It can exhibit in physical symptoms as well as in our patterns of thought.

Thoughts and feelings can include:

  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Self doubt
  • Feeling like a fraud
  • Negative self talk
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Lack of self trust
  • Doubt of skills and abilities

Physical symptoms, which are linked to anxiety, can include:

  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Stomach upset
  • Back pain
  • Headaches

The more of these symptoms you exhibit, the more likely it is that you are experiencing imposter syndrome. Once you recognize it, remember that you are not alone, and there are simple steps you can take to over come it.

Do successful people have imposter syndrome?

The answer is a resounding yes! People like David Bowie, Howard Shultz, Lady Gaga and Tom Hanks have said they’ve experienced imposter syndrome. It is actually a fairly common occurrence for high achievers because we put so much pressure on ourselves to do well. That pressure and desire for perfection often leads to the activity of comparing ourselves to other business owners when we are networking, attending business events, spending time online or when visiting local businesses. We see or hear things that make us think those people and businesses are more competent than we are, which often leaves us feeling like we are lacking.

The problem with comparison is that we think those people know far more than we do, but the reality is, we all tend to know equal amounts of information, it just might be in different areas. Additionally, when we compare, we don’t tend to take into account all the things the other person has experienced, how long they have been in business, or what they are going through right now. Like looking at an iceberg, we see what lies on the surface, but not what is underneath.

When people look at you and compare themselves, they see and think the same kind of things! You got into your business because you had a passion and a knack for it. Other people see your ease in your area of expertise and think about you in the same way you think about others.

When things are easy for us, we can downgrade our perceived level of skill in this area because it comes easily. We might even attribute our success to luck, rather than to our own abilities. Added to that, when we see someone who seemingly breezes through something that we struggle with, instead of acknowledging their ability as a natural talent or something learned over years of experience, we see it as something lacking in ourselves, which can lead to imposter syndrome.

How do entrepreneurs overcome imposter syndrome?

To overcome imposter syndrome, there are four simple steps you can take:

  1. Recognize when you are experiencing it. Become familiar with the symptoms and engage your emotional intelligence. Learn the things that trigger your negative thought patterns, and then take steps to stop them before they gain momentum.
  2. Celebrate your wins. Imposter syndrome centers around feeling like a fraud. Every success you have and every win you celebrate will start to diminish those feelings and boost your confidence.
  3. Talk about what you do and how well you do it. This is different from bragging. Instead, it is confidently talking about your abilities and expertise in your given area, and how you serve other people with your skill.
  4. Share what you know. When you can teach other people, you will quickly see that there is much you know about your area of expertise that others don’t. Try working with one person, holding a small group workshop, or even talking on a stage to many people. They will appreciate your expertise and you will feel great about sharing it!

Consistency with these steps is the key to overcoming imposter syndrome. As you practice each one, you will be nurturing yourself and your business to greater success.

Boosting your business knowledge is another great way to combat imposter syndrome and move your business into a better position for consistent growth. The Essential Components of a Successful Business, delivers the strategies you need to grow your business into a global success. Click here to learn more about this powerful online course.

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